QUEENS — The conditions were pristine, allowing Don Bosco Prep to put every element of its offensive prowess on display under the bright lights of Citi Field.
Tyler Sedlak wasted no time finding the back of the net just 14 seconds into the action, his first of three goals on the night, and George Weiner also joined the hat trick party as the undefeated Ramsey school, No. 1 in The Hockey Advantage Private Schools Top 10, executed to the tune of an 8-1 triumph over The Hun School of Princeton on the big stage in Queens.
A balmy 31-degrees with a brisk, 10-mph wind out of the north painted the picture as Don Bosco Prep (12-0-1) scored early and often, going a perfect three-for-three on the power play, en route to its 10th straight victory.
“It was a great experience for everyone and to come out here and put on a dominating win like this is even better,” Burns, the Winter Classic Player of the Game with a goal and five assists, said. “The experience itself, to be skating on the same ice surface as the NHL players just two days ago in a professional building like this, is unbelievable and something we’re never going to forget.
“You always like to put up goals against a team like that, but it’s more about the win,” said Burns, whose line of Sedlak and Tsubasa Konishi combined for four goals and eight assists. “Starting the New Year off with a big, dominating win is a really good start. I think we’re just going to keep rolling from here.”
Just 8:17 after Sedlak broke the ice, Weiner hit another home run, burying the rebound before striking a pose and “hitting one out of the park” as Don Bosco Prep quickly went up 2-0.
For Weiner, a big fan of Boston Bruins’ rookie Charlie McAvoy, the mimic was a calculated move.
“I’m a big McAvoy fan,” the senior forward said. “I remember watching him play in the Frozen Four, saw him score and do a little baseball swing so I said to my friends, ‘If I get the chance to score, I’m going right to that,’ and luckily enough I did.”
— Jersey Sports Zone (@JSZ_Sports) January 4, 2018
Weiner and Sedlak would go on to score two more goals apiece and Robbie Greenleaf also hit while senior defenseman John Campomenosi dished out three assists for Don Bosco Prep, a finalist for the NJSIAA Non-Public State title in 2016-17.
“Scoring early in the game, it was pretty impressive the way we put the puck in the net — bing, bang, boom,” coach Greg Toskos said. “Georgie got a little creative on his first goal with that celebratory home run swing he took to the outfield, but it was everything from the Zambonis to the kids walking out of the tunnel, it was great experience. A lot of real cool stuff here.”
The line of Burns, Sedlak and Konishi continue to be one of the most lethal trio of forwards on ice. Collectively, the unit has accounted for 38 goals and 51 assists this season, and once again dictated play in this tilt.
“We had some beautiful goals, some of those goals were tic-tac-toe goals,” Toskos, in his 12th season coaching at his alma mater, said. “Sedlak — you look at his release and that’s a Division-I release the way he shoots the puck. It was nice to see, get some flow into the game.”
“We just click. There’s no formula to it. There’s nothing secret about it,” Burns, who will continue his career for the Catamounts of Vermont next season, said. “Last year, when we were thrown on a line together, we just gelled and from that point on we’ve been rolling. It’s two years in the making.”
Weiner scored two more goals 3:59 apart over the final five minutes of the second frame to skate into the second intermission with a 7-0 lead.
Sedlak scored, shorthanded, 5:20 into the third period before Hun finally broke through when Brian Nelson connected on the power play with 3:53 remaining in regulation. Brendan Mrotchek and James McCall picked up assists on the goal for Hun, which drops to 7-4-1 this season.
“Obviously, it’s a dream come true being out there — a lot of fun,” Nelson said. “I’ve been playing with these guys for three years and never had an opportunity like this. We tried to take full advantage of it, unfortunately a tough loss. They’re a hell of a team, but we tried our all and it feels nice to put the puck in the net.”
“It was our fourth power play of the game. We were trying to get something going,” Nelson said. “We started working it down low, me, Nick Aubry and Brendan Mrotchek. I got it on the half wall, got some space, walked in and shot it in. Walking out on that ice, all our friends there, we’ll never forget it.”
Hun coach Ian McNally was proud of the way his team never quit.
“I think guys were into taking the pictures, getting new jerseys, looking around at the lights, then all of a sudden we’re down 3-0 and began to realize we came here to play a hockey game,” McNally said. “We had six legitimate scoring chances, breakaways out of nowhere, but unfortunately we didn’t take advantage of it out there.
“I know it’s going to be a little tainted, but two days from now, three days from now, they’re going to look back and say that was pretty darn cool,” McNally said. “Memories that will last a lifetime.”
At the end of the day, the game belonged to Don Bosco Prep, which has won every game this season except for a scoreless tie with Seton Hall Prep at Prudential Center way back on Nov. 29.
“It was definitely cool playing outside in a Major League Baseball stadium,” Campomenosi said. “Looking up every five or 10 minutes, it was pretty cool to look up and see big planes flying right over. Sitting on the bench, you try to take in everything that’s going on around you. We wanted to win and had a lot of fun doing it.”
“It was something special. Everybody worked hard and left it all out there,” Sedlak added. “Honestly, this was the best experience of my life. As a hockey game, there was great ice, it was a great game and just picturing this as an NHL Winter Classic or a World Junior Game playing outdoors at a football field, it was unbelievable and something I’ll always remember.”
Connor Callaghan and Kevin Rose combined for 19 saves for Don Bosco Prep, while Jackson Cole and Jack Carney combined to record 29 saves in between the pipes for The Hun School of Princeton.
Written by John Christian Hageny / @JCCSPORTS
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